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Banks family papers

Identifier: MS0164

Scope and Contents

This collection contains miscellaneous family papers found in the home of Henry Howard Banks after its purchase in 1991. Half of the collection is comprised of photographs, most of which are unidentified. Of note are a letter (1838) from Samuel Banks to his son, the Rev. Alexander R. Banks, and the class notes (1861-62) of the elder Henry Howard Banks while a seminary student. The Banks Family Papers are organized in a single, alphabetical folder title series.


  • Creation: 1838 - 1965
  • Creation: 1932 - 1949


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Howard Banks was born on May 16, 1839 in Spring Hill, Ark., to Elizabeth Pratt and Alexander Robinson Banks. He was graduated from Davidson College in the 1850s. As a student at Presbyterian Theological Seminary (1858-60, 1861-62) in Columbia, S.C., Banks studied under the prominent theologian and pro-slavery advocate, James Henley Thornwell, a professor at the seminary from 1855 until his death in 1862 [see Banks class notes in box 1:4]. During the Civil War, Banks served as a chaplain in the Confederate Army in Asheville, N.C. After the war, he remained in Asheville as a minister until 1871. After spending the next two years in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Banks served Davidson College as a recruiter and fundraiser. He eventually returned to Asheville, where he died on August 16, 1878. The Rev. William Banks (1814-1875) was Alexander's younger brother. A graduate of the University of Georgia (1837) and Presbyterian Theological Seminary (1840), he went West after his ordination. Howard A. Banks (d. 1932), presumably the son of Henry and the father of Richard Torrance and Henry Howard [see Torrance and Banks Family Papers], worked as a journalist and a government official. He wrote for The Charlotte Observer, The News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), and the Philadelphia Record, as well as The Sunday School Times, for which he also served as Associate Editor. During the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, he was secretary to Josephus Daniels, the Secretary of the Navy. A graduate of Davidson College, he also received an honorary degree from the school. H. H. Banks (b. 1909) served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as firecontrolman aboard the U.S.S. Bell in the Pacific theater.


0.6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Papers of several generations of a family active in the Presbyterian Church. Includes a transcription of a letter (1838) from Samuel Banks, possibly the first of the family in America, to his son, the Rev. Alexander Robinson Banks; class notes (1861-62) of the Rev. Henry Howard Banks (1839-78) as a student of James Henley Thornwell at Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C.; scrapbook (1898) of clippings on religious topics kept by Howard A. Banks (d. 1932); correspondence of James Galbraith Torrance (b. 1876), whose sister, Delia, married Howard Banks; papers of Delia's son, Henry Howard Banks (b. 1909); and photographs.


The collection contains one series (Photographic Prints) and several files that do not belong to any series arranged in alphabetical order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Pat Esgate, 1991.

Related Materials

Torrance and Banks Family Papers (Mss 87).

Processing Information

Processed by Randy Penninger, June, 1992.

Banks family papers
Randy Penninger
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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